Go to Seed/Go to Pot

Posted by R. Berg on February 19, 2003

In Reply to: Go to Seed/Go to Pot posted by James Briggs on February 19, 2003

: : These two phrases have similar meanings, but I'm not sure of their etymologies, and so I'd much appreciate any information about them. Thanks.

: Both mean getting to the end of attractive appearance. In the first instance it's a flower. In the second it's probably a metal implement that is worn out - only worth re-melting in the melting pot.

When a garden is neglected, annuals will go to seed--that is, bloom and produce seeds--at the end of their season, vegetables as well as flowers. Vegetables grown for their roots (e.g., carrots) or their leaves (e.g., lettuce) are long past their prime for eating when they're blooming and then producing seed. Perhaps that's where the adj. "seedy" comes from, meaning worn out or shabby; I haven't found confirmation in a dictionary.